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4 nutrients to boost baby’s oral health during pregnancy

While you’re probably aware that eating a well-balanced diet during pregnancy is essential for babies’ development, did you know this includes their oral health? Teeth start forming in the womb at just six weeks! By including certain nutrients in your diet during your pregnancy, you can help protect your baby’s smile for years to come.

Calcium Calcium Calcium

The first nutrient powerhouse is calcium — key for your baby to develop healthy teeth and jaw bones.

How much is enough?
Women, especially those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should aim for 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). This amount jumps to 1,300 milligrams for women under 19.

What should you eat?
There are plenty of calcium-rich options out there including dairy products, fortified cereals (stick to low-sugar varieties), almonds, sesame seeds and dark, leafy greens.

Vitamin D Vitamin D Vitamin D

A close friend of calcium, vitamin D helps your baby’s bones and teeth absorb calcium and other minerals to make them strong.

How much is enough?
The ACOG recommends that all women, including those who are pregnant, get 600 international units (IUs) of vitamin D a day.

What should you eat?
Milk is a good start — one glass fortified with vitamin D typically contains around 100 IUs. Other foods rich in vitamin D include fortified cereals and fatty fish.

Vitamin C Vitamin C Vitamin C

More than just a cold remedy, vitamin C helps build the inner parts of your baby’s teeth that are vital to strength and function. Not getting enough vitamin C may lead to issues like an absence of dentin, which guards the sensitive interior of your baby’s teeth (ouch!).

How much is enough?
Pregnant women should strive for between 80 and 85 milligrams of vitamin C, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

What should you eat?
Reach for foods like kale, kiwis, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and strawberries. (Avoid chewable vitamin C tablets because the acidity may wear down your enamel.)

Phosphorus Phosphorus Phosphorus

Phosphorus teams up with other minerals, like calcium and magnesium, to build a healthy tooth structure that may help your baby fend off cavities and other oral health threats down the line.

How much is enough?
Women, including those who are pregnant, should get 700 milligrams per day or 1,250 milligrams for those under than 19.

What should you eat?
Bump up your phosphorus intake with chicken, fish, dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds and beans.

Work with your doctor to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to give your baby a solid foundation. By knowing which nutrients to include in your diet, you can help set your baby on the path to healthy smiles from the start.

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